Found 95 talks archived in Telescopes and instrumentation
In this talk I will present the current status of the Calar
Alto observatory. I will review the most important highlights published
in 2019, as well as the legacy programs and instrumental developments
ongoing at the observatory at present. Finally, I will summarize the
recent call for public surveys and new instrumentation, still open, that
will be presented in the RIA workshop to be held at IAA headquarters in
Breakthrough Starshot is an initiative by the Breakthrough Foundation to prove ultra-fast ultra-light nanospacecraft can be launched by laser radiation pressure to nearby stars, and will lay the foundations for a first launch to Alpha Centauri within the next generation. Designs for a 0.2c Alpha Centauri mission minimize beam director capital cost by accelerating a ~4 m, several gram diameter sailcraft for ~10 min. A number of hard engineering challenges remain to be solved before these missions can become a reality: Large coherent laser arrays are required. No consensus has been reached on the most suitable sail geometry for stable flight, “beam-riding”. The sail itself requires major advances in materials science and photonic design to produce materials with the required absorptance, emittance, reflectance, areal density and operating temperature. Along the way, the project will enable increasingly fast outer solar system and interstellar precursor missions. Breakthrough Starshot will pave the way for multi-lightyear pipelines of sailcraft that fly past each target star every few weeks. Beams such as Starshot will produce an extremely observable transient feature of Earth and therefore could be an observable of extraterrestrial advanced civilizations.
El coste de los mayores telescopios actualmente en construcción es tal que la extrapolación de estos diseños a tamaños superiores a ~50 metros de diámetro parece inviable. Futuros telescopios gigantes deberán de construirse siguiendo modelos nuevos, algunos ya propuestos, otros aún en fase de desarrollo.
A major goal for NASA's human spaceflight program is to send astronauts to the Moon and beyond in the coming decades. The first missions would focus on exploration of the Moon with the intent of developing the technologies and capabilities to then proceed on to Mars.
However, there are many objects that show promise as future destinations beyond the Moon, which do not require the extensive mission capabilities or durations required for Mars exploration. These objects are known as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) and would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration and serve as stepping stones for NASA’s efforts to reach Mars. A subset of these objects has been identified within the ongoing investigation of the NASA Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS).
Information obtained from a human investigation of a NEO, together with ground-based observations and prior spacecraft investigations of asteroids and comets (e.g., Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx), will provide a real measure of ground truth to data obtained from terrestrial meteorite collections. In addition, robotic precursor and human exploration missions to NEOs would allow NASA and its international partners to gain operational experience in performing complex tasks (e.g., sample collection, deployment of payloads, retrieval of payloads, etc.) with crew, robots, and spacecraft under microgravity conditions at or near the surface of a small body. This would provide an important synergy between the worldwide Science and Exploration communities, which will be crucial for development of future international deep space exploration architectures and has potential benefits for future exploration of destinations beyond the Earth-Moon system (e.g., Mars).
The precipitable water vapour (PWV) is the main absorber in the Earth's atmosphere at infrared (IR) and microwave wavelengths. In the last years, the IAC Sky team has been providing real-time PWV data from a monitor based on the GNSS (GPS) technique (GNSS PWV Monitors; GPM). Among other things, the PWV values help in the scheduling of the telescopes with IR instrumentation. The GPM have undergone a continuous process of upgrading. More recently, we have undertaken the PWV forecasting. We will present in the talk a brief summary of the monitors and details of ForO ("Forecasting the Observatories"), the forecasting system for PWV at the Observatories. ForO is based on a mesoscale Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model. The ForO system has been validated and calibrated with PWV data from the GPM and will deliver accurate PWV daily predictions for ORM and OT on a 24, 48 and 72 hours windows. This is a definitive improvement to optimize the flexible scheduling for IR observations, in particular for CanaryCAM and EMIR at the GTC.
ALMA is a submillimetre/millimetre telescope located at 5000m in the Atacama desert in Chile designed to observe at 0.32–9.5 mm (31–950 GHz), and it is expected to be the leading observatory in these wavelengths for many decades to come. ALMA has performed scientific observations since September 2011, with new capabilities being offered for each new observing cycle. The interface between ALMA and the astronomical community is provided by the ALMA Regional Centres (ARCs). The European ARC is located at ESO, Garching. In Europe, the services to the community are provided by a distributed network of ARC nodes. The European ARC network is an international, geographically dispersed structure, and consists of the central ARC at ESO, seven ARC nodes and one Centre of Expertise, distributed across Europe. It is an organised effort to provide the European ALMA user community with uniform expert support from the stage of proposal preparation through to data reduction, in order to enable the optimal usage and increase the scientific output of ALMA. The model for the European ARC nodes network will be described in terms of its organisation, communication strategies and user support. ALMA capabilities and recent ALMA results will also be summarised.
Depending on the interest of the participants, the talk can be followed by a small demo of the ALMA Observing Tool (OT) for the creation and submission of ALMA proposals, as well as the ALMA Snooping Project Interface (SnooPI), that allows PIs and Co-Is to follow their projects throughout their life-cycle.
The IAC is part of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA), a consortium of colleges and universities in the US partnered with Lowell Observatory, the Chilean National Telescope Allocation Committee, and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias.
In this seminar I will describe the remote facilities operated by the SARA observatories that comprise a 0.96m telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona; a 0.6m instrument on Cerro Tololo, Chile; and the 1m Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope at the ORM. All are operated using standard VNC or Radmin protocols communicating with on-site PCs. Remote operation offers considerable flexibility in scheduling, allowing long-term observational cadences difficult to achieve with classical observing at remote facilities. Multiple observers at different locations can share a telescope for training, educational use, or collaborative research programs. Each telescope has a CCD system for optical imaging, using thermoelectric cooling to avoid the need for frequent local service, and a second CCD for offset guiding. SARA Kitt Peak telescope also has a fiber-fed echelle spectrograph. Switching between imaging and spectroscopy is very rapid, so a night can easily accommodate mixed observing modes.
The IAC astronomers started to use SARA facilities since early 2016 and a new call for proposals is open. I will present some early results from IAC’s observational programs and discuss the present status of the facilities and the experience obtained by the IAC users that could help new potential observers to prepare their own proposals.
An exciting series of changes are taking place at the venerable WHT and INT on La Palma. WEAVE, the next generation multi-fibre spectrograph is being completed for the WHT prime focus. Once built, it will carry out massive surveys of stars, the Milky Way, galaxy evolution and cosmology. At the INT, the HARPS3 high-resolution stabilized spectrograph is being built. It will provide the ING communities with a world-class exoplanet research tool. This talk will address the observing opportunities brought by these two instruments, their development calendars, and ING’s plans to retain additional instrumentation for the open time. I will describe how the telescopes will be operated, both in the survey time and the open, TAC time.
No talks scheduled for the next days.